On April 7, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced an event to celebrate Chicago Mayor Harold Washington on what would be his 100th birthday, according to a press release.
This centennial celebration, titled "HERE'S HAROLD! A Centennial Birthday Celebration Honoring the Life, Spirit, and Remarkable Achievements of Mayor Harold Washington, "will honor the contributions of Harold Washington to the City of Chicago.
It will take place Tuesday, April 12, at 5:30 p.m. at the Harold Washington Library Center (400 S. State St.), and will be hosted in partnership with the Mayor Harold Washington Legacy Committee (MHWLC) and the Chicago Public Library. The event includes a reception, musical entertainment, speakers and award presentations. The public can view the centennial celebration via livestream on Lightfoot's social-media pages.
Honorary co-chairs of the event include Gov. JB Pritzker, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and Rainbow PUSH founder Rev. Jesse Jackson.
In addition to the birthday celebration, MHWLC is proclaiming 2022 as the Year of Harold Washington. The Chicago City Council Black Caucus has also proclaimed Friday, April 15, as Harold Washington Day.
In 1983, after a multi-racial coalition of progressives supported his candidacy, Washington was elected the 51st mayor of Chicago and made history as the first African American to hold the position. News of Washington's death on Nov. 25, 1987, shocked the city and the entire country. He was seven months into his second term when he succumbed to a heart attack in his City Hall office at age 65.
The MHWLC,a 501(c)(3) Illinois nonprofit organization, was established in 2013 and is composed of a diverse group of visionary civic leaders who share a conviction that a unified effort is essential to keep Washington's memory and legacy alive.